Summertime Weight Loss Strategies - BBQs, Picnics, and Parties
Summertime is all about outdoor parties, picnics, and barbeques. And why not? The weather is perfect for spending time outside. But before you fire up the grill again, check out these 8 simple strategies to keep you focused and on track with your weight loss efforts. Don't let summer eating sabotage your plans to shed those extra pounds.
1. Continue to practice your healthy eating habits - especially on the day of the event. Don't skip meals or save up calories. This is a sure fire way to set yourself up for overeating.
2. Stick with your daily exercise routine. Do it first thing in the morning to get it out of the way so there is no excuse to skip it. And remember, exercising doesn't give you the green light to overindulge.
3. Decide ahead of time what and how much you will eat. This will minimize your chances of getting caught up in mindless eating that leads to overconsumption and weight gain.
4. After you have chosen your food wisely, eat it slowly. When you eat too fast, you can end up consuming more food than originally intended. Make your meal last at least 15 minutes to give your body a chance to feel satisfied. Then wait awhile and go back for seconds only if you are still truly hungry.
5. If you are going as a guest, offer to bring an appetizer or side dish. At most BBQs and parties, there is no shortage of high-calorie, high-fat foods. Do something different and bring a fruit salad made with some in-season delicacies like berries, cherries, peaches, and watermelon. Or prepare a platter of cut-up fresh veggies like cucumbers, carrots, celery, asparagus tips, cherry tomatoes, and radishes. Bring along a few dips such as hummus, guacamole, low-fat bean dip, and salsa. These go great with homemade or baked pita chips, too. This way you are guaranteed some choices that allow you to stick with your healthy diet.
6. Move away from the buffet table. There will likely be a table or two filled with appetizers and other food, drinks, and desserts. Hanging out in this area is almost a guarantee that you'll overeat. Get yourself a plate of food and walk away.
7. Watch what you drink. If alcohol is on the menu, select a light beer or wine spritzer. Both are refreshing and lower in calories than most other alcoholic beverages. However, be mindful that alcohol is like a double edge sword; it quickly adds extra calories and lowers your inhibitions to eat more. Your best bet is to stick with ice water, sparkling water, unsweetened iced tea, and other non-caloric beverages.
8. If you are hosting the party, try grilling up some fruit. As the natural sugar in the fruit caramelizes, it develops a unique sweetness. Put a little dab of butter on whole, peeled bananas and quartered peaches before grilling. Strawberries and other small pieces of fruit can be folded in aluminum foil so they don't fall through the grill grates. Sprinkle on a bit of sugar and they will turn soft and smoky. Served over a scoop of low fat vanilla ice cream, this delicious dessert will surely impress your guests.
Take advantage of this time of year to boost your weight loss with healthy eating. Whether you're grilling at home or eating out at a BBQ or party, summer provides the perfect opportunity to enjoy delicious, healthy meals. The abundance of fresh fruits and vegetables, combined with the opportunity to grill foods, offers many tasty alternatives to the high-calorie, fatty foods we often associate with summer.
Lorraine Matthews-Antosiewicz, MS RD, is a food and nutrition expert specializing in weight management. She is committed to empowering people through education, support, and inspiration to make real changes that lead to optimal health and lasting weight loss. Sign up for her Free Consultation and receive expert advice on how to lose 20 lb. - or more. Jump Start your weight loss today! http://njnutritionist.com/freeconsult